Hi, I'm Tessa & I make eco-conscious graphic tees at Krmbal. When I started Krmbal, I opened up on Storenvy because I work with a printer to make sure my tees are printed responsibly and the chemicals to make the screens and the ink are properly handled and disposed of (screen printing ink is actually considered hazardous waste until it's fully cured and I didn't want to be dumping any of that down a drain!). When Etsy decided to start allowing manufacturing partners and a friend sent me some free listings, I decided to try it out. The review process actually went very slowly for me, but eventually I was approved and could start selling.
I made a single sale in the first week I was on Etsy, but after that I had a long stretch of several months where I had no sales. I was really struggling to make the Etsy marketplace work for me and I thought that I might give up after my free listings were gone. I wasn't promoting Etsy on my social media because Storenvy doesn't take a percentage of my sales, so it just makes more financial sense to push all of my outside promotion to my custom Storenvy shop. I wanted to try to take advantage of the Etsy marketplace though because it is one of the really great features of Etsy.
I was averaging about 30-40 views a week on Etsy and 15-25 favorites a month. Those are pretty dismal stats. I tried changing up my search terms, even tried some outside promo just to see if boosting views would help me in the Etsy marketplace. Nothing really made a dramatic difference.
Then, my friend Danielle from Squshies mentioned that the Etsy Promo forums were open again and that she really enjoyed them last year as a way to promote and to find new things. I hadn't ever used the Etsy forums before, so I asked her a few questions and then I dove in. You can find the Forums link at the bottom of the page from anywhere on Etsy. The Promo forums are the last topic on the page in the forums section.
Basically how it works is someone posts a thread topic like Blue Items or Halloween and in the first post may include rules to post in that topic. Sometimes the rules are that you can only post 1 item from your shop, sometimes it's to post an item and favorite a certain number of items from other people and sometimes there are games where you post something that matches a color in the last item posted or is the next letter of the alphabet. As long as you follow the rules of the post, you shouldn't have any problems.
I use HabitRPG to help me keep track of my To Do list, things I do often and daily tasks. I decided to make it a daily task to spend a short amount of time each morning posting to the Promo forums. I don't spend more than 10-15 minutes each day and my views and favorites went right up.
Then something awesome happened. I was found by an Etsy team that devotes 2 days a week to finding a group of shops with low sales and "attacking" them with favorites and/or sales. I made 1 sale that day and got over 100 favorites. The next day, I got another sale. That boost really helped Krmbal get some traction on Etsy and I think they found my shop because I posted in the forums on a topic for shops with low sales.
The Sneak Attacks team definitely gave me a boost, but I've kept that momentum going for about a month now and I think that's all due to the Promo forums. I've more than doubled my monthly views and my favorites have gone from 15-25 a month to over 100. In fact, this week alone I had 2 days where I got as many favorites in one day as I used to get in a month. I've also been averaging a sale a week since the boost from the Sneak Attacks team. That's not amazing, but it's much better than I had been doing!
I still don't promote Etsy outside of the promo forums any more than I used to, so the increase in traffic is all from the forums and getting better reach thanks to those favorites. I think favorites are pretty key on Etsy, they seem to be what really help expand your reach. It's especially true now with the new home page featuring the recent favorites of your friends and other people you follow.
If you're struggling on Etsy, I'd give the Promo Forums a try. If you've never tried Etsy, but want to give it a shot, ask any of your Etsy seller friends to send you a link for 40 free listings (they'll get free listings too) or feel free to use mine.
Do you use the Etsy promo forums or others venues to promote your Etsy shop? What have you found to be most effective in marketing your Etsy shop?